31.05.2011 § Leave a comment
“At first, the responses to the questionnaire about the trauma of the war in Libya were predictable, if tragic: 10,000 people suffering post-traumatic stress, 4,000 children with psychological problems. Then came the unexpected: 259 women said they had been raped by militiamen loyal to Muammar Qaddafi.
Dr. Seham Sergewa had been working with children traumatized by the fighting in Libya but soon found herself being approached by troubled mothers who felt they could trust her with their dark secret.
The first victim came forward two months ago, followed by two more. All were mothers of children the London-trained child psychologist was treating, and all described how they were raped by militiamen fighting to keep Qaddafi in power.
Dr. Sergewa decided to add a question about rape to the survey she was distributing to Libyans living in refugee camps after being driven from their homes. The main purpose was to try to determine how children were faring in the war; she suspected many were suffering from PTSD.
To her surprise, 259 women came forward with accounts of rape. They all said the same thing.
…Rape has been a common weapon of war throughout the ages,
…Dr. Sergewa said she has interviewed 140 of the rape survivors in various states of mental anguish, and has been unable to persuade a single victim to prosecute. None would speak to the AP about her ordeal, even with a promise to hide her identity.
“Some I diagnosed with acute psychosis; they are hallucinating,” Dr. Sergewa said. “Some are very depressed; some want to commit suicide. Some want their parents to kill them because they don’t want their families to bear the shame.”
“They are using rape not just to hurt women but to terrorize entire families and communities,” Dr. Sergewa said. “The women I spoke to say they believed they were raped because their husbands and brothers were fighting Qaddafi.”
“I think it is also to put shame on the tribes or the villages, to scare people into fleeing, and to say: ‘We have raped your women,'” she said.
Dr. Sergewa says women will continue to be targets of the militiamen, and this makes it all the more urgent to finish her study and get it published.
Full article Here.
29.05.2011 § Leave a comment
A Spanish mother has taken revenge on the man who raped her 13-year-old daughter at knifepoint by dousing him in petrol and setting him alight. He died of his injuries in hospital on Friday.
Antonio Cosme Velasco Soriano, 69, had been sent to jail for nine years in 1998, but was let out on a three-day pass and returned to his home town of Benejúzar, 30 miles south of Alicante, on the Costa Blanca.
While there, he passed his victim’s mother in the street and allegedly taunted her about the attack. He is said to have called out “How’s your daughter?”, before heading into a crowded bar.
Shortly after, the woman walked into the bar, poured a bottle of petrol over Soriano and lit a match. She watched as the flames engulfed him, before walking out.
The woman fled to Alicante, where she was arrested the same evening. When she appeared in court the next day in the town of Orihuela, she was cheered and clapped by a crowd, who shouted “Bravo!” and “Well done!”
28.05.2011 § Leave a comment
This conversation is one of the thousands that occur every day in the Plaza, except for the details of what can be shared in Public.
Trans. Maxine Holz.
Interview between Stepahine Grueso and Amador Fernande-Savatar.
S. I’m not big on demonstrations, but the 15-M seemed necessary. Like so many others, I am fed up with a half-rotten social, economic and political system that has no consideration for people or for the world. Despite this, the feeling at the demo was not sorrowful or hostile. To the contrary: it was like a party, with a lot of joy circulating.
Am. The call for the demo anticipated the spirit of the [Plaza del ] Sol: it was radical, but open and inclusive. So much energy was liberated that some people just couldn’t go back home and they decided to occupy the plaza that very night. This gesture was very surprising and very moving to me. It might never have resulted from the discussions or political calculations of a more organized assembly, and can only be the product of the improvisation of a group of people who decide to do what they want to do and act against all predictions.
S. The occupation (acampada) grew a lot after the eviction, which we all felt was intolerable. Now it’s impressive. Today there is a child care center, solar panels, a library, a clinic, cleaning teams that leave everything impeccable, plenty of food. It’s like a small city. There is an enormous collective effort to care for the space to create a small habitable world where we all fit, even for just a few days. It’s the same as what we saw months ago in Tahrir Square.
Am. We have gone from taking the street to creating the plaza. The democracy we want looks a lot like the organization of these plazas: egalitarian, active, cooperative, up to the people. It’s completely the opposite of the politics of the politicians. That is why they don’t represent us. This movement radically questions that consensual culture, the deproblematizing, depoliticizing culture called The Transition Culture. The two most popular slogans you hear are “they don’t represent us” and “they call it democracy but it isn’t”.
S. We are enjoying the beauty and we are also learning, educating ourselves. During these days I have met many very young people. I have been overwhelmed by their warmth, their intelligence, their organizational abilities, their commitment, their love for the commons . (amor por lo comun). This is totally opposite to the stereotype of an egoistic and brainless youth we hear about. The plaza is creating good citizens, that is, problematic citizens.
Am. These labels are a technique of the government: the separate the protestor from the rest of the population, as though they had nothing in commmon. But in the plazas, a huge collective intelligence has destroyed all these divisive stereotypes. As they say in one of the thousands of awesome posters that are everywhere: “ we are not anti-system, the system is anti-us’
S. The people are now the most powerful means of communication. We are connected individuals producing our own choral story of what is going on and the conventional media have fallen behind. I bought a cell phone for personal communications, leisure and the internet, but now I see it more as a weapon of self-defense.
Am. I ask myself where this self-organizing knowledge that has spread in the plaza comes from, and I find a possible source in the net culture. In the free culture scene there is a deep-seated idea of community as a group that creates collectively, where there is cooperation amongst equals, the possibility of touching and modifying what another person does. We aren’t just protesting against something, we are now a rare species of community.
S. Election day hasn’t meant much for us. Sure, many of us have voted but we’re already into something else. We understand that what we have going us much more important and ambitious than some election, and we are working on that. I think we should agree on some basic points in common, get the maximum support for them and fight for them forcefully (con fuerza). I am left with two things: changes in the voting laws and regular access to public information. From that we can begin to build the future.
A. The experience of collective power (protagonismo colectivo), speaking out and cooperating with people you don’t know ,is already an irreversible victory. So many people have been transformed: their demeanor, their dispositions and their relation with the world . [La mirada, la disposición y la relación con el mundo de muchísima gente se ha transformado- literally: the looks, the disposition and the relation with the world of many, many people have been transformed] Right now there is an impulse to take charge of life in common (la vida comun) which seems to me unstoppable. Besides, from now on, as they said in Egypt: “we know the way back to Tahrir Square. “
28.05.2011 § Leave a comment
Masked South Korean sex workers rally against police crackdown on brothels.
A crowd of about 400 people, mostly women wearing baseball caps, masks and sunglasses, chanted slogans like, “Guarantee the right to live!” during the four-hour rally. At one point, about 20 protesters in their underwear and covered in body and face paint doused themselves in flammable liquid in an apparent attempt to burn themselves, but others stopped them from lighting any flames. Some of the women then sat in the street and wept and screamed, while other protesters consoled them.
Minor scuffles between protesters and police officers erupted after the rally, but there were no reports of major injuries.
The rally comes weeks after officials began stationing police cars near brothels in a bid to drive away people looking to pay for sex.
As the violence has become worse, women activists have organised a Friday protest of Free Women showing solidarity with those seized or killed. Women-only protests in towns across the country have led the effort to let the outside world know what is happening in Syria. But they are now being targeted as well, with the same lethal brutality.
Two weeks ago three women were shot dead at an all-women march near the besieged city of Banias. A week later human rights activist Catherine al-Talli (32) was detained in the Barzeh district of Damascus after being forced off a minibus when it was stopped at a checkpoint by the secret police.
Botswana will reopen state senior schools on May 30 after closing them for two weeks because of violence during a pay strike by government workers, Education Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said.
Police in Istanbul used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a student demonstration held to protest against the country’s Higher Education Board.
One thousand students clashed with riot police outside a conference organised by the board where President Abdullah Gul had given the opening address.
Demonstrators attempting to stop a transnational mining company from extracting silver posits from Peru have intensified their tactics after three weeks of non-violent protests, damaging government and private property in the Andean border region near Bolivia.
For weeks, a group of about 10,000 protesters blockaded streets in the country’s southeast in an effort to convince Peru’s government to revoke the license already given to Bear Creek Mining Corp, a Canadian company planning to mine silver in the area.
Road blockades made from rocks blocked about 300km on both sides of the border road from Peru to Bolivia, and activists manned road blocks every few kilometres, to ensure nothing could get through.
Amid frustration with the protests’ lack of success, some demonstrators began breaking into government buildings on Friday.
The tax office in Puno, a Peru border town, was raided and files and furniture pulled to the street and set ablaze, and several windows were smashed at private and public buildings, banks and cars.
Victory for cyber activists? In a rare climbdown, the Angolan government has withdrawn controversial legislation severely restricting how people use the internet.
However, civil society celebrations around the scrapping of the legislation were short-lived after a number of activists were arrested on Wednesday for taking part in an anti-poverty demonstration in Luanda.
Organised via Facebook by a group calling itself the Revolutionary Movement of Social Intervention (MRIS), the protest was due to take place at lunchtime…
According to reports, between 15 and 20 people were detained, among them a journalist and a representative from Osisa who had been trying to film the arrests.
Although small in size and number, protests like these are a relatively new phenomenon in Angola where few have dared to question the authority of President Dos Santos and his ruling MPLA.
“The people leading these protests are young and they don’t have as much to lose. They were born after independence so they don’t have that connection to the ruling party like older generations,” Ms Cutaia says.
The Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC) members issued a warning to the district authorities on Friday, saying that they will block traffic, if Noorjahan — a domestic help arrested on theft charges — is not released by May 31. The union has organised a mega rally outside the DC office on Friday morning.
In a unique diktat, the TUCC members are asking for the release of the domestic help who was caught red-handed while stealing a gold ring. Noorjahan, who confessed her crime, had later tried to strike a deal with her employees by saying that she will give them a ring that she had stolen from another house.
China: Inner Mongolia
Protests are spreading in Inner Mongolia, as demonstrations spread following the death of two local herder leaders opposed to environmental destruction due to coal mining.
Yesterdays, protests were held in two towns in Inner Mongolia, the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre (SMHRIC) said.
It has been difficult for the foreign press to reach the area, but pictures were surfaced online showing hundreds of protesters marching through the county seats of Huveet Shar Banner (county) and Left Ujumchin Banner.
The protesters carried banners bearing Mongolian slogans including ‘defend the rights of Mongols’ and ‘defend the homeland.’
Jammu and Kashmir
People protested against alleged land grabbing by a former minister in the name of a trust and halted the Jammu- R. S Pura National Highway at Gadigarh for more than three hours. Only after the intervention by revenue authorities and police officials made it possible to pacify the situation, eye witness narrated.
Hundreds of people of nearby area assembled at lower Gadigrah near police naka and started shouting slogans against former Health Minister, Mrs. Suman Lata Bhagat. Vijay Kumar Sharma who led the protestors said that in the name of his father-in-law, Bhagat Chajju Ram who was also a minister during his political career, the former minister’s kin allegedly grabbed a piece of land measuring 7 kanals and 11 marls. He said that the piece of government land was meant to be utilized for the construction of hospital or a college for the locals of area….
It is important to mention that for the last few years the land grabbing and illegal encroachments by land mafia alleged in nexus with politicians, officers and influential have reached to new heights. Experts believe that one of main reason for corruption menace is land mafia culture in the state.
Witnesses say police used stun guns against those demonstrating at Ma’ale Zeitim, which would mark the first time this type of weapon has been used against protesters in East Jerusalem…
During the protest, fighting broke out between the activists and security forces at the settlement. According to the protesters, they were attacked by security, who used stun guns on them and arrested them. The protesters also said that police broke the hand of one of those arrested.
28.05.2011 § Leave a comment
“Defense lawyers pointed to surveillance footage of the woman walking on her own as she entered the building in front of the officers as evidence that she was conscious and able to communicate. They also contrasted what the woman told some friends shortly after the alleged rape — that she thought she was raped — with the certainty that she was expressing on the witness stand. Her spotty recollection of that night, the defense said, was enough to raise reasonable doubt over whether she was raped.”– NY times article Here.
Best of: today’s protest against the NYPD rape cops
1) the people who got pissed when the woman in the front thanked the police who were surrounding us in the pen.
2) when the Rude Mechanical Orchestra broke free of the pen and everyone followed them out onto the street.
3) when a random woman gave me a megaphone and said, “Just take it. Say whatever you want. Find me when you’re done with it.”
4) when me and my grrrls took over the chorus of “We Shall Overcome” with “we think cops are scuuuuuum.”
5) when we got mad at the lady with the news camera who kept pushing to interview me shortly after the scum cops song— and I wouldn’t because she seemed to have an agenda and I wasn’t about to represent All Feminists Ever on local/national news. My friend came to my defense and said “We don’t fucking care about the media, go away.” And the camerawoman said, “The media can help your cause, you know.” And we said, “Not your media.” I said, “I have a blog, I’ll just write about this later.”
9) when a disgruntled dude kept yelling “COP-FREE NYC” over the people who were yelling “RAPE-FREE NYC,” and a woman stopped him and said “Listen! This march is against rape!” And he yelled back, “I’m not a girl! Why would I yell that?” And another dude pulled him aside and schooled him.
10) when hundreds of people— all kinds of people— decided that rape was a cause that was important enough to get angry about, beyond the pens and into the streets. And we fucking brought it.
28.05.2011 § Leave a comment
More than 40 Spanish protesters suffered injuries in altercations with police in Barcelona Friday, as pressure mounted on demonstrators to end nearly two weeks of sit-in protests around the country.
Five of the protesters were taken to hospital, medical sources said. The injured also included one police officer.
Similar clashes were reported in Lerida, while Madrid’s governing conservatives called on Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist government to disperse hundreds of protesters in the capital’s central Puerta del Sol square…
An entrepreneurs’ association threatened to take legal action if the protesters were not forced to leave their Madrid encampment ‘immediately.
– Thx signalfire
Today then, the people fought back, and the cops backed on out of the plaza: